Pangong message-India’s border infra better than before. But China far ahead. Project turnaround has to improve

News: China already has a superior border infrastructure than India and has recently also finished a lot of projects along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. 

Years of investment and an easier bit of topography of the Tibetan plateau gives China an advantage.

What have been the recent Chinese advancements on the border areas? 

China is ramping up its infrastructure along the LAC.

This includes a new bridge across the Pangong Tso as well as additional troop shelters, gun positions, helipads and jetties in the area between Finger 8 and its military bases at Sirijap-I and II. 

What have been the efforts form the Indian side to counter China’s border development? 

India has for the longest time believed that inaccessibility on its side would actually deter the Chinese from intruding across borders. But the border clashes over the years have proved the contrary.  

So, India changed its approach, especially in the last 15 years. Since the Galwan clash in June 2020, the pace of Indian border infrastructure development has quickened. 

In June 2021, 63 bridges across six states and two Union territories along the LAC went operational.

Government implemented the Shekatkar Committee recommendations regarding border infrastructure that enhanced the Border Roads Organisation’s procurement powers from Rs 7.5 crore to Rs 100 crore.  

What is the way forward? 

India needs to focus on overcoming the problem of lack of inter-ministerial coordination and the delayed environmental clearances. For instance: Failure of the project involving the construction of over 40 integrated border outposts along the LAC due to poor coordination between the ministries of home affairs and Jal shakti. 

To be able to counter China successfully, India must utilise its limited resources smartly by cutting red tape and clearing border projects quickly. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Pangong message-India’s border infra better than before. But China far ahead. Project turnaround has to improve” published in Times of India on 4th Jan 2022. 

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